Nothing beats freshly baked bread. The aroma and flavor is so wonderful, it will summon everyone to the kitchen, even if they are sound asleep. And if the smell of the bread itself isn’t enough to rouse those sleepyheads, maybe a hint of chocolate and orange in tender these scones will do the trick.
A scone is very similar to a biscuit. In fact, sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. However, there are some subtle differences. While they both rely on baking powder and powder soda for leavening, comes often contain, fruit, nuts or even chocolate and may be drizzled with a luscious glaze that makes them downright sinful. Scones also often contain an egg for richness.
Scones originated in Europe, while biscuits are an American favorite, particularly in the South.
Like all quick breads, those that rely on baking powder and baking soda for leavening, scone dough should only be needed briefly so that the gluten isn’t developed, lest the final product be tough.
The following scone recipe is light and flaky with tons of chocolate, a little fruit and the inviting aroma of orange. The crispy top has a slight crunch from sugar that is sprinkle on right before baking.
Chocolate Orange and Cranberry Scones
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Additional sugar for tops
Preheat oven to 400. Butter and flour a large baking sheet, shaking off excess flour.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Using a pastry blender or two forks, work the butter into flour mixture until mixture is the texture of course meal. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry mixture. Stir only until the mixture comes together.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Pat into an 8 inch circle and cut into 12 wedges. Place on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush each with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.
Makes 12 scones